Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Latinos, African Americans, and Alzheimer’s Disease (Audio 5:55 mins.)

According to a study reported in “Neurology®,”
Latinos and African Americans with Alzheimer's disease live longer than Caucasians who have the disease. Variables such as education level, age when symptoms began, living situation, and other factors that could affect how long the study participants lived did not change the results. The study involved about 31,000 people who had Alzheimer’s disease.

Latino participants lived about 40 percent longer than Caucasian participants, and African American participants lived 15 percent longer than Caucasians. Asian and American Indian participants lived about as long as Caucasians. Author of the study, Kala Mehta, DSc, said, "Possible explanations may be underlying genetic or cultural factors." Other possible factors were varying levels of social support from extended family, varying levels of health and diseases in addition to Alzheimer's disease, varying levels of treatment of other diseases, and differences in measurement or earlier diagnosis in some groups. Another factor could be length of stay in the United States. These findings can impact healthcare planning of Alzheimer’s disease.

You can hear more about Alzheimer’s disease and treatment, including additional information about African Americans, at this website.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
"Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes”
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog


  1. I have a question...I work at a nursing home, and someone has passed away both yesterday and today. Several people made the comment that people die in threes. Is that a true phenomenon? Is it likely that someone will pass away tomorrow?

  2. That's an expression that has circulated through the years. To my knowledge, there is no truth to it.